Greek inductions using new preventative measures against hazing

Greek inductions using new preventative measures against hazing

Photo courtesy of Peri McIntosh

This year, Lee University mandated that each member of a Greek club must sign a legal contract in order to participate in their respective inductions.

According to the Common Data Set of 2014-2015, 9.44 percent of female undergraduates and 9.71 percent of male undergraduates participate in Greek life at Lee. However, everyone on campus gets to experience the 'Greek week' in some capacity.

Students have the ability to peek into the beginnings of induction weekend when each club marches two-by-two around campus to tap their newest members. These individuals can be easily identified by the ones standing in front of a building, head down, refusing to talk to anyone who may pass by.

This semester, Lee has made some changes in order to ensure safety for all the new Greek Club members.

Vice President of Student Development Mike Hayes has taken on the new role of overseeing the Greek community.

'I'm new to the new student development sector this year so last semester gave me a chance to assess any risk that we may be incurring,' Hayes said. 'I felt it was something we ought to take a look at to make sure that we are minimizing the risk for students and the institution.'

One of the ways Hayes has tried to implement this was by meeting with all the new taps on Thursday night immediately following Tap Night Reception.

Hayes said that the hazing section of the Tennessee law provided each student with an anonymous hazing hotline that they could call at anytime of any day throughout induction.

Some new members said the meeting added a sense of security during induction weekend.

'Induction was one of the hardest things I ever went through physically and mentally, but I never feared serious harm,' Josh Hill, new tap member of Theta, said. 'Having a meeting with all of the new pledges made me feel more secure, and it made me more aware of what was considered hazing and what was not.'

Although the change gave a sense of security, Tanner Smith, member of Upsilon Xi, warned of the effects of too much change and restriction on how Greek clubs do their inductions.

'What a lot of people don't understand is that there is a biblical process to what we do,' Smith said. 'We have to break people down so they can lose their pride. If you just go up to someone and say, 'don't be prideful,' it's not as effective.

President of Epsilon Lambda Phi Ali Mattsson, however, agreed with this new change.

'I think it was really great for our clubs and for our students,' Mattsson said. 'In the end, I think it will better serve us as a club because we'll be able to go back to why we do what we do.'

It is still too early to assess the overall induction process, but Hayes is appreciative of all those who helped with this change.

'We appreciate how the sponsors and leaders helped educate all the members in the clubs on the updated guidelines,' Hayes said. 'The meeting we had with all of the new members after Tap Night allowed us to orient them as they began the membership process. The committee that helped guide the revisions will be assessing how things went now that this weekend is over.'

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